We’ve published a number of blogs over the past few months about our Virtual Services orchestration platform and ways in which it can be used by Service Providers in order to offer their end-users with different types of value-added services. Today I’d like to share information about a new service that we are announcing – a service that helps the Service Providers themselves in saving costs (both up-front and on-going) related to equipment they place in our homes: our home routers or gateways.
The service is called vGateway. We use it to run residential gateway software stacks in a virtualized environment (specifically, on a server at our customers’ data center) while the actual gateway in our home is stripped of most of its software, leaving only the bare minimum software required.
There are similar sounding products on the market today: vCPE’s and uCPE’s. What differentiates our vGateway from them is that, by leveraging our Virtual Services platform, we are able to achieve an unparalleled degree of integration between the software stack and the (remote) gateway. Not only will our vGateway show you all network interfaces (both wired and wireless SSID’s) on the server, it is capable of handling traffic at full speeds by maintaining full acceleration features offered by the gateway.
What that means is that although nearly all of the software is running on a server, it will show interfaces, functions and performance as if it is running physically inside the gateway.
This has some rather far-reaching implications for our Service Provider customers.
First, they can prolong the life of deployed equipment. Gateway stacks are large and complex – and continually growing. Deployed gateways’ memory becomes exhausted and processors too weak to continue to run more modern, larger and more functional software stacks. This leads to either frequent upgrades or compromises on what customers are offered. Off-loading these stacks to an external server via vGateway means that old, weaker gateways can run the same stacks as newer, more powerful ones.
Moreover, it opens a path for Service Providers to white-box their gateways. Reducing software to a minimum greatly reduces the complexity of the gateway and makes it possible to largely commoditize the hardware offering. This is a strategy many Providers already use to drive down cost of ownership of their equipment.
And finally, our approach offers great flexibility and modularity. Software stacks can be switched easily (RDK-B, OpenWrt, prpl or others) and revision upgrades (which tend to be frequent) are far easier and quicker to deploy. It all leads to a network that is easier and cheaper to maintain.
vGateway is operational today. If you’d like to see a demo, please get in touch with us at